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Generational Divide Affects Social Media Implementation

successful-meetings-researchAccording to a study by Successful Meetings, millennial event planners are leading the way when it comes to leveraging social media in their event planning, and planners in the demographic groups above them might learn a few useful tips from the new kids on the exhibiting block.

When asked if social media integration at their events had increased, decreased, or stayed the same compared to the previous year, Millennials overwhelmingly said it had increased, while only about half of the Baby Boomers and Generation X respondents said the same. Four percent of the Baby Boomers surveyed said the number of social media activities had decreased from the previous year, while zero among the Millennial group reported a decline.

With regard to employing social media at events to engage attendees, 74 percent of Millennials said they do, compared to 62 percent of Baby Boomers and just 58 percent of Generation Xers. But which platforms the groups are using vary considerably. Millennials are fond of Facebook (94 percent), Twitter (85 percent), and Instagram (59 percent), with use of other platforms such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube falling below the 50 percent mark. Boomers and Gen Xers favor Facebook too (84 and 91 percent respectively), though Instagram use by both groups sits at 35 percent. Gen Xers and Baby Boomers  do put confidence into LinkedIn (54 and 51 percent), but few spend time working in Pinterest, which garnered about 8 percent usage from each group. Pinterest was the least used platform by Millennials as well, but it had an adoption rate of 15 percent.

It’s not that Millennials find using social media easier, the study reveals. When asked, “Do you find getting attendees to use social media tools as part of the event experience a challenge?” 68 percent of the Millennials who responded said they do, while just 63 percent of Baby Boomers and 58 percent of Generation X respondents agreed. And though they are the heaviest adopters of social media overall, Millennials were least likely among the generational divide to have a social media strategy for events, with only 45 percent saying they do. Forty-six percent of Generation Xers use a plan, while 55 percent of Baby Boomers say they have a strategy that they work from.

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